Ciaran ist mit seinen über mehr als 17 Millionen Plays auf Spotify viral gegangen und macht ehrliche Singer/-Songwriter Musik, die selbst den legendäre Zane Lowe ins Schwärmen bringt. Im Vorfeld zu der Deutschlandtournee und der anstehenden Veröffentlichung seines Debütalbums in Deutschland, haben wir uns mit dem Nordiren unterhalten. Der sympathische Singer/-Songwriter hat mit uns über seinen Durchbruch dank Spotify, über sein Heimatdorf und über das Video zu „Shame“ gesprochen.
I guess Not Nearly Dark describes not only the tempo or fragility of the record but also the element of hope that exists & is laced throughout.
Hi Ciaran, how’s it going? Excited for the release of your debut album in Germany?
Ciaran Lavery: Very excited. Germany is somewhere I have been hoping to really break ground with my music so yes, very much so.
You’ve released it in Ireland about two years ago. What was the reason to wait that long for the release in Germany?
I guess the main reason was Spotify. The album was self released two years back, self funded & self promoted. I didn’t realise over time that there had been a lot of growing interest on Spotify of the songs, and Germany was somewhere that the songs seemed to resonate with people. It made sense to me that with a buzz growing to push the album again; I mean why not? Right now the songs are reaching up to 20+ million streams so I’d like to capitalise.
What’s your album Not Nearly Dark about? Which time of day describes your sound the best?
The whole album I wanted to create a feel that it was made in the middle of the night. Around that time I remember reading about Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands by Bob Dylan & how someone close to him described it as how it was the epitamy of the time of night the take was recorded; I fell in love with that idea. I guess Not Nearly Dark describes not only the tempo or fragility of the record but also the element of hope that exists & is laced throughout.
If you had to describe your album in three words, what would they be?
Hope. Hopeful. Hopelessness.
At what point in your life did you decide to become a musician? Because I’ve read, that you started at the age of 15 with your band called Captain Kennedy?
That’s right, though to be fair I think at that stage I never took it seriously. Infact, I never considered music as an occupation until maybe a couple of years ago. After writing songs for that length of time I finally got my brain into thinking that if I work hard on this, I could possibly carve out a living. Songwriting for me is always a working progress & I constantly hear things that make me feel like I should work harder, so I try to. But yes, I was in for up to 7-8 years. We had a great run & I learned the ropes with the band; cut my teeth in all areas. We got ripped off, played some horrible shows & played horribly at some shows, but we also had a hell of a lot of fun. I’m grateful for every moment spent with the band & I love them all dearly.
Do you have any bad or good memories from that time you would like to share with us? It could also be a funny story from a gig or something like that.
Probably too many to mention to be honest. We were once booked to play an acoustic show at a coffee house, but last minute we got a call to see if we wanted to do a full band show in the upstairs from the original venue. We said yes without asking what it was. It ended up we played music at some sort of religious cult evening; strangest thing I’ve ever been a part of. Still, the people liked our music & danced their asses off.
I admit, that I had to check where your hometown Aghagallon is located. Do you think it was more difficult for you to get into the music business? Or do you see it as a positive thing?
I love being out of the way from the city, it gives me head space. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. Home keeps me grounded & in a way protected from everything that happens around my music.
The latest video of your single „Shame“ is pretty inspiring. Could you tell us more about the background or the inspiration of it?
CL: I have been using the same director ROC for over a year now & we hit it off pretty instantly. Richie is very motivated & very much a lateral thinker in the way he sees things. He came to me before the idea of the Shame video came about saying how he has always had this general idea of a fictitious character living among the real world & when I approached him with the song we both thought it would be a good place to start. The song is quite heavy so I didn’t want the video to be similar, so by creating the character & developing a very human story around him I hope that it keeps people interest for the duration of the song. I’m always attracted to that juxtiposition between a pretty heavy topic & opposite visuals. And life is heavy enough for people on a day to day basis anyways; we both hoped the video could make people laugh.
Your lyrics are just astonishing. Where does this inspiration come from? Can you explain your approach to writing music?
I listen to a lot of different music & when I can I love to read about the human condition as much as I can. I guess those things, plus my comfort with being able to talk about past memories are what I draw from when I write. I would hate to ever filter myself, it seems wrong. I never rate my own lyrics & I’m always of the idea that if I’m busty patting myself on the back over some line, at the same time someone else is writing something great & I would hate to be complacent. I just like to keep my head down & work hard; it’s an ongoing process.
Are there any great musicians or songwriters like Bob Dylan for example, which inspired you in your career?
Yes, lots; where do I begin. Tom Waits is a massive influence on my music & just how to work as an artist. He’s totally magnetic even in interviews. I take a lot of reference from people like Luke Kelly; what a vocalist, what a voice. There’s a lot of truth in the words of people like that. That’s all I could ever want as an artist, to be real.
And a very last one, which we ask every act. What would you call a perfect friday night?
Sitting on my sofa with my girlfriend Caoimhe with a big glass of wine a piece & enough battery in the remote so we can channel surf long into the night.